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4 / Ceremony and Society

Soul Recovery Ceremony paraphernalia
Soul Recovery Ceremony paraphernalia
Artist / Origin CHiXapkaid (Michael Pavel) (b. 1959); Kay-UAmihs (Winona Plant); and Sm3tcoom (Delbert Miller) (1944-2005), Skokomish Indian Nation, Southern Puget Salish, Pacific Northwest
Region: North America
Date 2008
Material Wood, paint, cedar bark, grass, imitation huckleberries
Medium: Other
Dimensions (boards) H: 60 in. (152 cm.), W: 10 in. (25 cm.), D: 1 in. (2.5 cm.) (each); (figures) H: 30 in. (76.2 cm) (each)
Location Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA
Credit Photo by Arash Hoda

expert perspective

CHiXapkaid (Michael Pavel)Artist and Traditional Bearer for the tuwaduq Nation

Soul Recovery Ceremony paraphernalia

» CHiXapkaid (Michael Pavel) (b. 1959); Kay-UAmihs (Winona Plant); and Sm3tcoom (Delbert Miller) (1944-2005), Skokomish Indian Nation, Southern Puget Salish, Pacific Northwest

expert perspective

CHiXapkaid (Michael Pavel) CHiXapkaid (Michael Pavel) Artist and Traditional Bearer for the tuwaduq Nation

The Soul Recovery exhibit in itself encompasses an incredible amount of knowledge that we need to bring forth, and we’re really motivated to bring that forth not only for our own purposes today, but for future generations.

For whatever reason, individuals, families, collectives, or communities can lose their joy for living. They lose a sense of promise and aspiration; it’s like, give them the motivation to wake up to greet the day positively.

As we encountered more and more of that, we saw the need for a ceremony like this that wasn’t being satisfied by the services society might offer people in suffering. Many communities throughout the native lands are suffering at the hands of colonization and oppression. And that deep-seated sadness has evolved into depression, so that the whole family kinship and network has been somewhat disrupted.

This ceremony, in fact, was about providing aid to a particular individual who may have lost their soul, but it was also about gathering the community to work in one mind, one heart, one spirit for the purpose of something good, something that could contribute to the worth of living.

There is something about giving back that gives each of us a sense of worth. It means that we value life so much that we are willing to do whatever is necessary to make sure other people enjoy it too. We’re not just simply thinking about recovering the soul of an individual, but it’s about the soul and the salvation of our society.” 

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